Mayor’s comments ill-timed, insensitive, insulting

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On Sunday, April 27, I attended Miles for Smiles in Bowring Park.
This important event creates awareness about child abuse which occurs in all segments of society.

During the course of the morning, courageous women spoke about the terrible abuses — sexual, physical, emotional — they had suffered during childhood, and of the long-term effects such abuse creates.  

As one said “It’s a life sentence.”

Just prior to these revelations, the mayor of St. John’s, Dennis O’Keefe, greeted those in attendance and made a preliminary statement about the horrific topic of child abuse.

He then noted the absence of the media and used this occasion to comment, “If this event were about potholes, the media would be here.”

I was appalled at the mayor’s insensitivity.  This was not an appropriate occasion for him to whine about his petty grievances.

In my opinion, the mayor’s comment was an insult to the organizers, volunteers and those of us in attendance at Miles for Smiles.

Mary O’Keeffe

St. John’s

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Recent comments

  • Redgrave
    May 07, 2014 - 19:36

    It's a crying shame the media didn't pay more attention to this massive , and very well hidden problem. It's almost as if Newfoundland has asked "How big can you make a rug"? "We've got lots to sweep under it"

  • Virginia Waters
    May 06, 2014 - 10:37

    I wasn't there and I am not a fan of mayor O'Keefe (for fiscal reasons - nothing to do with personal suitability). That said, I find your attack on O'Keefe perplexing in the extreme and highly offensive. It would seem to any objective reader that the comments you ascribe to O'Keefe - far from being insensitive or insulting - actually elevate the topic of child abuse. Clearly he is being critical of the media for not deeming it important enough to provide coverage. Shouldn't you be echoing that sentiment instead of condemning a politician who lends support to your cause. Your letter is so bizarre on its face that I have to ask whether there is some other grievance at play here than a concern for abused children. How irrational and unreasonable. Someone owes an apology to Mr. O'Keefe.